*Govt must backdate minimum wage payment to April – NLC
By Matthew Denis
The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has pledged to implement the new N30,000 minimum wage as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Labour Union before the 2019 general elections.
The Governor made the disclosure while delivering his speech during the May Day celebration held in Ilorin, yesterday.
Governor Ahmed said the delay in the implementation is due to the failure of the National Salary and Wage Commission to release the template and modalities for the payment.
The Governor who was represented by the Head of Service, Mrs Susan Modupe Oluwole appreciated the workers for their dedication, commitment and loyalty.
He asserted that all his engagements with the union were fruitful because they were based on genuine agitations.
Ahmed commended the labour union for their understanding, stating that his government implemented bold structural development in youth and empowerment.
According to him, the government also pursued sound fiscal policy that can facilitate empowerment as well as prompt payment of salaries and promotion.
In his remarks, the new Chairman of Kwara State branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Ore called on the state government to stop engaging consultants to execute tasks that personnel in the civil service could render.
Alhaji Ore explained that the civil service remains the engine room of government for the implementation of people-oriented policies and programmes.
The Chairman stressed that the congress viewed the practice of engaging consultants in the state as a conduit pipe to siphon the state resources.
He urged the state government to provide the working tools and facilities that can make workers more effective and productive.
The NLC boss also appealed to the government to take urgent steps in reviving moribund industries in the state.
“If these moribund industries are revived it would help in creating more jobs and economic growth and development.
“Also, there is the need to woo investors to harness natural resources that the state is endowed with in order to improve the economic fortune of the state,” he stated.
On the issue of national minimum wage, Ore, who also is the state Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) reassured the workers that the NLC would not relent in its effort until the new wage was finally implemented and fully paid to all categories of workers in the state without any disparity.
On his part, the Kwara State Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Nasir Kolawole Olumoh called on the incoming administration to make the welfare of the workers a priority.
According to him training and retraining of civil servants will go a long way in empowering their skills and capacity for efficient service delivery.
… Saraki appreciates civil servants’ commitment
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday saluted Nigerian workers for their tireless contribution to the socio-economic development of the country, in spite of fluctuating economic realities.
Saraki, in a message of goodwill to mark the 2019 Workers’ Day celebration, signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, also commended the leadership and members of the organized labour for their patriotism in often choosing dialogue rather than industrial action in resolving trade disputes.
He expressed hope that workers would be encouraged to always put in their best in working to uplift and sustain the nation’s economy, in view of the recent signing into law of a new minimum wage of N30,000.00.
“No nation can develop without a virile and agile workforce,” Saraki said. “It is trite to say that workers are the mainstay of our nation’s economy, since no policy of government, no matter how remote, will succeed without the commitment and collaboration of workers saddled with implementation.
“However, having interacted with Nigerian workers and their leadership times without number, I can say without fear of contradiction that the nation’s workforce is among the best in the continent,” he stated.
“All that is left is to adequately harness their abundant talents and spirit of patriotism to further improve on the nation’s economic and political development through timely and adequate motivation, training and retraining. The public sector should work to ensure that the country realizes her potentials. It should eliminate tardiness, increase the level of discipline and strive to provide enabling environment for the private sector to thrive with the resultant broadening of the scope of national prosperity”, Saraki stated.
He called on the leadership of organized labour to continue to discharge their responsibilities in the overall interest of the country and her people while the government would continue to do its best to meet the yearnings and aspirations of workers and other Nigerians through sustainable welfare programmes.
… Govt must backdate minimum wage payment to April – NLC
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Oyo State chapter, has demanded that the arrears of the N30,000 minimum wage be paid to workers in the state.
The NLC Chairman in the state, Bayo Titi-Sodo , made the demand yesterday in Ibadan during the 2019 May Day celebration.
Titi-Sodi also called on all employers of labour to commence the implementation of N30,000 minimum wage on April 18,the day the new wage was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the employers should pronounced April 18 as the effective date the new wage.
” As it stands now, all employers of labour are owing workers arrears of 13 days and we are demanding that the arrears be paid.
“We also called on the government at all levels to ensure that the new wage is paid across board.
“We assure the government of the workers’ dedication to duty and hope the government will listen to our demand and prioritise the workers’ welfare,” Titi-Sodo said.
Mr Olusegun Abatan, Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Oyo State, called on government to carry along the pensioners in the state on the N30,000 new minimum wage.
Abatan said that the Nigeria law stipulated that whenever the salaries and wages of workers were increased, that of the pensioners should also be increased.
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, said the representatives of the labour union and government met recently on the issue of the N30,000 new minimum wage.
Ajimobi who was represented by his Deputy, Moses Adeyemo, said his government was committed to the payment of the new wage.
He said the government would do the needful as soon as all documentation and processes for the takeoff of the new minimum wage were completed.
…NUJ seeks end to casualisation of journalists
The Nigeria Union of Journalists has called for an end to exploitation of men of the fourth estate through casualisation of their employment by some media organisations.
“This type of employment is promoting compromises in the journalism profession for financial gratifications,” the Chairman of NUJ, Plateau Council, Paul Jatau, told newsmen yesterday in Jos.
He expressed worry that some media organisations engaged their reporters on contract for a long period without converting them to permanent staff, thus depriving them of many entitlements.
The NUJ chairman said labour laws do not allow the practice of casual staff for many years, yet many media organisations default in compliance to such laws, saying stringent actions must be taken to curtail the practice.
He said: “Some media organisations are fond of giving reporters only identity cards for the job without any form of remuneration.
“In Plateau, apart from government owned organisations, only three media organisations pay their reporters.”
He appealed to the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to press for the introduction of media salary scale to address the welfare of journalists.
He said: “We want members of the National Assembly especially those who have been in the profession to support our efforts to make it pass through the processes of legislation for implementation.”
Jatau also called for a law to checkmate the proliferation of online publications in the society, noting that quack journalists and other non-professionals are hiding under such cover to disseminate fake news and promote hate speeches.
He said: “We must sanitise the profession to prevent it from being an all comers venture and enable us discharge our duties as the watchdog of the society diligently.”
Jatau said NUJ in Plateau had facilitated trainings for journalists with organisations such as Google and Search for Common Ground to horn their skills in using internet and adopting peace journalism in their reports.
He said efforts were on top gear to build the NUJ House in the state, adding that the press center is being renovated to enable a conducive environment for journalists to discharge their duties and organise their events.
Jatau advised journalists to be circumspect in their reports and work towards galvanising the society through truthful and responsible reporting.
… Benue govt pledges to pay new minimum wage
The Benue State Government has agreed to pay the N30,000 new minimum wage to its workers.
Speaking at the 2019 workers day celebration in Makurdi on Wednesday, Governor Samuel Ortom said the government would soon meet with the labour body in the state to look into the implementation of the new minimum wage.
Mr Ortom, who was represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, said workers’ welfare would be his utmost priority in his second tenure as the governor of Benue.
He expressed gratitude to workers for returning him for the second time despite the nonpayment of salaries, which almost destroyed his first tenure in office.
“I know that things have been rough for you because of the nonpayment of salaries but you still looked beyond the immediate and returned me back for the second time; I appreciate your gesture”, he said.
Ortom, therefore, promised that he would set machinery in motion to ensure that all arrears of salaries and pensions are paid.
“We are worried that workers are being owed salaries, which has made them to fail in their responsibilities towards their families.
“We are ready to correct the sore mistake of salary arrears in order to leave our footprints on the sand of Benue in 2023,” Mr Ortom said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Benue Chapter, Godwin Anya commended the workers for their patience even when they were being owed salary arrears for many months.
Anya called on Ortom to pay workers their arrears now that he has been returned for a second term, saying that it was one of his campaign promises.
He promised workers that he would liaise with the NLC national body to ensure that their arrears were cleared, urging them to remain committed and dedicated to their duties.
… Akeredolu to pay new minimum wage
Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has assured workers in the state that his administration would pay the new minimum wage as approved by law.
Akeredolu gave the assurance during the 2019 Workers’ Day celebration held at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Arcade, Akure.
He also promised that outstanding leave bonuses would be paid soon, saying that welfare of workers was paramount to his administration.
The governor said that the most effective way to ameliorate poor living conditions was the bridging of infrastructural deficit in the state.
According to him, poverty will only be tackled effectively when the hinterlands are linked to urban centres, in a design which will promote cooperation on socio-economic fronts.
“Real prosperity lies in the production of goods and services by any society.
“Our state has started the revitalization of the moribund production sector through the promising project of Ore Industrial Hub.
“Creating an atmosphere which promotes economic activities is a priority of this government. The Deep Sea Port project at Araromi will become a reality soon.
“Our state will be the desired destination for serious investors and tourists,” he said.
The governor also said that his administration would continue to treat the welfare of civil servants as a priority, and pay the new minimum wage.
“We, however, admonish our colleagues in service to reciprocate the good gestures of government, and sacrifices by those not employed by the state, to rededicate themselves and embrace best practices for progress,” he said.
Earlier, Mrs Helen Odofin, Chairperson, Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state, urged workers to reciprocate the good gestures of employers through loyalty and commitment to quality service delivery.
She lauded the governor for promising to implement the new minimum wage.
Also, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Mr Sunday Adeleye, commended the state government for commitment to regular payment of salaries and promotion workers as and when due.
He, however, said that organised labour would constructively criticize the state government at any time, if needed.
Adeleye also urged the governor to put in place necessary machinery for the immediate implementation of the new minimum wage.